My gap year is now officially over. It has ceased to be, it has expired and gone to meet its maker, it has shuffled off its mortal coil…etc. Basically, It is now an ex-gap year.
This time last year, nothing anyone could have said to me would have persuaded me that taking a year out was a good option. Nuh-uh, no way, I wanted university and I wanted it right at that very moment. I won’t go on about how heartbreaking missing my offer was, or how difficult the decision to take a year out was, because you can read all about it here. And here. And here. What I will say is that it all seems very melodramatic and stupid now, though I know it hurt like hell at the time. This is mainly because I have had an utterly fantastic year – better than I ever could have imagined that cold September morning when I realised that I’d have to temporarily put my dreams on hold.
I was lucky in that I got a job fairly quickly, with Clas Ohlson, Sweden’s latest attempt at taking the UK by storm, and everyone’s favourite weird yet wonderful DIY shop. When I first realised that I’d have to get a job to occupy myself, and, more importantly, earn money, I dreaded the thought, but thought that I could get by getting a crappy shop job that I’d probably be miserable in. But apart from the usual ‘niggles’ and politics that come with any workplace, I had an amazing time working there – and made some brilliant friends that honestly more or less made my year as great as it was. And, as a bonus, the job itself was good, though I suppose no one really likes retail, do they? I was truly sad to leave when the time came a few weeks ago, which, weirdly, I never would have expected.
The result of working more or less full time for the duration of the year was that I made some money – by rights I should now be rolling in ‘dough’, as the cool kids call it, but actually I’m not because I (rightly or wrongly) just spent it all. I had a brilliant time doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Which means that though I am now pretty much fucked for university. At least I had fun!
So, now. It is Friday night, I am drinking diet Pepsi and tapping away at my keyboard, listening to music and reading countless blogs all at the same time. Pretty much a standard Friday night for me, but tonight there’s something different – mainly the fact that my belongings are everywhere. In front of me my clothes are all vacuum-packed up, in my room my make up is all packed away, next to them my books are ready to be boxed up. In two days I move to the University of Sheffield, something I didn’t really think would ever actually happen.
It has been a long time coming. But I am excited. And nervous. Actually, beyond nervous – there is a butterfly camp in my stomach and they’re breeding hourly. I am sad too, of course. It will be tough leaving my mum, and my home, and because of the ace time I’ve had this year, it will be tough leaving my hometown, even though to be honest it is a bit of a dump.
I have butterflies, and I am stressed out, and I really don’t know how I’m going to fit all of my belongings in my dad’s tiny car, but I really, REALLY can’t wait. It’s finally happening!
See you in Sheffield :)